UN says Trump slur on ‘shithole’ countries is ‘shocking’ and ‘racist’
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UN says Trump slur on ‘shithole’ countries is ‘shocking’ and ‘racist’

Spokesman Rupert Colville: US president's comments open the door to 'humanity's worst side' and 'go against universal values'

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on prison reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 11, 2018. (AFP/Saul Loeb)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on prison reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 11, 2018. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

The United Nations on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump’s reported description of African nations and Haiti as “shithole” countries as “shocking and shameful,” and “racist.”

Trump on Thursday questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “you cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes.'”

Colville said that the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and “I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but racist.”

He also took issue with Trump’s reported suggestion that the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly white, instead of from African countries and Haiti.

“The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear,” Colville said.

He said Trump’s reported comment could endanger lives by potentially fanning xenophobia.

“Like the earlier comments made vilifying Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targeting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the reluctance to clearly condemn the anti-Semitic and racist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville — all of these go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War II and the Holocaust,” he said.

“This is not just a story about vulgar language. It’s about opening the door wider to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people.

“This is perhaps the single most damaging and dangerous consequence of this type of comment by a major political figure,” he added.

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